Friday, October 19, 2012

Changed Attitudes - HIndsight

At one time in my recovery, I'd have said that hindsight is extremely useful - all those realisations not possible any other way. But now, I see it more as turning once again to mine the past, trying to gain wisdom there, working and living not in this day, today, but stepping back to add shame to our ignorance or innocence.

We can't know what we don't know.

 No amount of self-belittling now, will change our inability as human beings, to gaze into the future and make sound decisions as a result of what we see gathered there.

I must let go of my younger self's not being able to see past the love and infatuation of a new marrage.
No amount of shame ladelled upon my head at this age, will change a molecule of the choices the younger me went on to make. Allow them. Be at peace with them. Be at peace with her. Lift up my eyes from this vantage point, and feel gratitude for the love and care with which I am surrounded.

I have only to ask, and I will find my pathway swept and marked for me, and loving companions with whom to walk.. But first, I must turn my face from the past, let go of furture outcomes, and live in this day, fully.

I've learned not to consider rain a personal affront, but to dress for it. So much of life can be lived in this way.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happiness Is An Inside Job - I Give It To Myself.

A reader asked: "How do I find gratitude, when I don't feel any?"

I'd bring this back to the basics of life - is there food in your fridge? Do you have a roof over your head, a bed with enough blankets, or a comforter, to keep you warm and safe as you sleep? Do you have untainted water to drink?   Start there. Start as far back as required in the basic needs of life, and push gratitude.

By "push" I mean, remind yourself. Don't listen to the nattering, tv-fed mind, which never stops insisting  that if only you had the latest app, your life would be a different thing entirely. That's not reality, it's advertising.

Reality is that feeling in your chest, when you look into the eyes of another Al-Anon member and what you see is loving acceptance of the same person with whom you've completely lost patience - you.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Emotional Support.

Where do you get yours? In speaking to my new sponsor iu this city, I replied that my emotional support comes from my Higher Power. That knowledge is what made it possible for me to risk a massive change in my life.

I have been being looked after since long before I knew I needed any care.

Learning That Which We Already Know...

....but are unwilling or unable to accept, can be a painful process.

The knowledge that my life inside my marriage had become "unmanageable" was nothing new. I'd tried in every way I could imagine to find solid ground, but there was none to be had - I didn't cause the "isms" of the alcoholic, I couldn't control them, and I couldn't cure them. Each alcoholic is solely responsible for the tracing out of their own path.

When newly married, I was naive enough to believe that the cessation of consumption was enough to bring about recovery, I'd no idea that the person can be years away from their last drink, and only minutes later, will demonstrate the fact that if you do not move forward, you will slide back.

I want to say sorry to Syd,who left a comment which I was going to publish, but somehow hit the delete button instead - my fingers are more clumsy on this laptop, sorry, Syd.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Turning The Page.

I seem unable to write, lately. Or I can write, I just erase it all as soon as I read it over for editing purposes. (I've spent 2 hours trying to write a letter to my brother, who has been nothing but accepting and encouraging)  The truth of my pain on ending my marriage of 17 years has more to do with loss of the dream than the relationship. The alcoholic had burnt away my feelings for him with his repeated lies.

One effect of all of this is that I cannot write upon my blog in the way I am accustomed: my old coping mechanisms are no longer needed, and in their passing is a freedom I'm not sure how to utilise.

 I will be using the Al-Anon literature to help me through this writer's block. Please bear with me if my posts change form for a while.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Road Rage - Another Name For Bad Manners

A few days ago, after checking first, to make sure I wasn't being followed closely enough to  be rear-ended, I slowed to stop for a pedestrian at an unmarked crossing, and when he looked at me to make sure that's what I was doing, I waved him on. He was young, in his early twenties at the most, and when he smiled, gave a wave of thanks, and stepped off jauntily to cross the four lanes of traffic, a shattering blast of horn broke out behind me. He froze in front of my car - he knew that I, at least, knew he was there and wouldn't mow him down.

A look in my rearview mirror, and I saw the man in the large pickup behind me, wave his arms in that gesture meaning, "What are you doing!"

I pointed to the pedestrian, wondering if the driver hadn't seen him, and was thinking I'd stopped at the end of the block for no real reason.

His response was to punch the fist of one hand, violently into the palm of the other, face suffused with rage.

I thought of the phrase I use as a meditative tool: "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." and not knowing I was about to do so, blew the enraged driver a kiss.

Rather than respond with increased fury, the driver's rage seemed to deflate; he changed lanes and dropped back. It was as though he'd lost interest in that which had so infuriated him just a moment before.

I thought of myself, so angry at everything when I came into this program, so completely unable to see my own part in the troubles of my life, so desperately longing for connection and a sense of love, and yet unable to attain it, becauce first, I had to understand that if I wish to have a friend, I must be one. If I wish love, I need to behave in a way that does not alienate and hurt the people in my life.
We none of us live in a vacuum, but so many of us newly in, are self-absorbed to the point we are unable to recognise the pain that we have called. We rationalise all of that.

Step 4, we stop with the game-playing and the blaming. We accept that each of us has human frailty, and admit that we have done some harm ourselves.